Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:56 am

Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:53 am

In times gone by, it was relatively easy to request bulkhead seats, exit row seats and seats towards the front of the aircraft with relative ease no matter what your frequent flyer status with a given airline. In my travels in the past year or two with some of the U.S. majors I have seen this change, specifically with Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.

When making online reservations, during the seat selection process these seats are blocked for elite members of those airlines' reward programmes. Although I have no quibbles with this policy, my question is this: Do these seats remain out of bounds for us as infrequent travelers, or does an early check-in at your departure airport increase the chances of acquiring any of these types of seats upon request if they are available?

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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:14 am

I've had no problems getting delta exit row/bulkhead seats. But I know there are airlines that do block these

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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:18 am

Usually these can be had at the airport, just check in early and be nice....
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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:21 am

Alaska airlines always gives me an exit row seat. I show up three hours early and request it, and I always get a window exit row seat, and usually the other seats in the row next to me are empty. Man...exit row seats...that's flying comfortably in coach for sure! You can stretch your legs ALL the way out!
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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:36 am

You can obtain them at the airport day of departure. I have had no probs if they were available and that is as a non-rev... I just check in on the KIOSK and boom..
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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:44 am

United also blocks off those seats...usually their last row of "Economy Plus" seats are the exit row seats...
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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:04 am

I've never had a problem getting an exit row seat on Delta, or even one that has been "blocked" for elite members. I've never had to show up early to get one either. I just get on, look up my flights, view the seats, and see if there is an exit seat available. If there is, I just call their 1-800 number and ask for it. Its worked for me each time.

Continental will also be in part of my travel plans. I called them to request an exit row seat and had no luck. The agent told me to arrive early at my origin airport in order to be assigned one, so that's what I plan to do. Hopefully I get one.
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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:30 am

I always thought that they were not allowed to assign exit row seats until the day of the flight so that the agent can confirm that in an emergency you are physically capable of operating the emergency exit and assisting the crew? What would happen if somebody not capable got those seats and wasn't told they couldn't sit there until they were already on the plane? Bigger hassle than its worth in my opinion to assign these seats in advance.

Two rules in aviation, don't hit anything and don't run out of gas, cause if you run out of gas yer gonna hit something.
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:56 am

RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:43 am


I do not know about the policy of other airlines, but there was a time on during the seat selection process that you were able to assign yourself exit row seats. Since I am not an elite member of SkyMiles, I no longer have that option, but at that time you had to click "yes" or "no" to the standard questions/regulations governing who can sit in an exit row. Although it's not outside the realm of possibility that someone who was not eligible could lie on the questions, it was entirely possible to assign yourself exit row seats far in advance of your flight.
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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:37 pm

On any elite member can book an exit row. There are no questions asked about if you can handle it untill you are at the gate or onboard.
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RE: Airline Seat Assignments

Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:53 pm

The easiest way to get the best seat is to check-in online at the earliest time possible.

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